The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced last week that it has awarded $35 million to 700 Sandy-impacted businesses through the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program. The program offers small business owners grants and forgivable loans of up to $50,000 per affected location, up to a total of $250,000 to reimburse them for lost operating expenses, inventory, equipment and furnishings. The money can also be used for construction.
The announcement follows criticism from small business owners who complained back in April that the grant application process was cumbersome and behind schedule. The EDA responded by reducing paperwork requirements and adding additional advisors to help business owners through the process.
Between the Stronger NJ Grant, Loan, and Neighborhood and Community Revitalization programs, the EDA says that a total of over $126 million has been approved so far to help businesses and communities impacted by Sandy.